The QML800 QuickMark Layout System is a new way to lay out interior points, using two laser beams that literally mark a visible “X” on the point. The lasers are controlled wirelessly using an Android tablet with standard gestures and controls. Just select the desired point within your digital plan set and the lasers will find that point within seconds.
The QML800 system is useful for drywall contractors, MEP contractors, general contractors, construction managers, architects and anybody requiring a quick layout of a CAD design on a project.
Recently, we sat down with the CSDS Construction Technology division to talk about the pros and cons of the QML800.
Who was the QML800 made for?
The QML800 is a game-changer for anyone who wants to streamline their layout process because it takes out a lot of time and inefficiencies of traditional construction layout practices. It’s definitely not survey grade (you’re looking at 1/16-1/8” for your error outside of 120 feet of the system setup), but sub industries like framing, drywall, mechanical, and electrical and trades who fall within 1/8” tolerance are perfectly suited for its capabilities.
What’s the process like compared to tape measures, paper plans and other traditional layout methods?
Typical layout methods utilize several manual steps, construction personnel and mechanical processes in order to determine where CAD features are located on a jobsite. Traditionally, this was the most effective way to get as many points laid out on your project as possible. There are pretty proficient mechanical contractors who can get 100-200 points laid out in a day using these traditional methods.
But with the QML800, you could be looking at up to 400-500 points a day without missing any critical details, since you’re working directly from the digital plans and probably with just one guy. The only limitation of the QML system is that the range is limited to about 120 feet from the instrument’s position to the points being laid out – and it’s also limited to indoor use. Other systems like the Spectra Precision Focus 35 Robotic Total Station with Layout Pro software are suited for higher accuracies at longer ranges, for both indoor and outdoor layout applications.
Who are the people who might need a QML800 but don’t know it yet?
A person who is using tape measure constantly with control lines. That process is dependent on whoever has that control line. The error could be off if the control lines are wrong – and he might not necessarily realize this. He’s basing his accuracy on someone else’s work and relying on manual, mechanical measurements with a tape in order to orient himself to the rest of the project. On the other hand, the QML provides feedback on the quality of your accuracy relative to your CAD model in real-time. It’s really simple. Once your setup orientation is complete, you simply pick which point you’d like to layout first, then it marks the spot with an “X” and shows you exactly where you need to be.
Let’s say you’re getting an idea of streamlining your workflow and you’re looking at new technology. You have traditional methods that most contractors use like using measuring tape. You’re relying on whoever is running the tapes the entire day. If you’ve got a guy who’s tired, there’s definitely some human error that comes into play. You’ve got to rely on that guy to do the job well.
Technology has come along where we don’t have to worry as much about unaccountable and definitely unintentional human error. Basically, all you need that person to do is to accurately establish their initial position with the aid of instantaneous verification within the QML’s software and begin laying out points.
So, you improve timing, accuracy, and efficiency while decreasing human error. We’ve seen cases of our customers reducing jobs from two weeks down to two days. You also avoid time management and coordination issues on live sites. You avoid the inconvenience of needing to have guys stay late. When you look at the costs of human error and labor, it more than pays for itself.
How much skill do you need to do this?
Training could take as little as five minutes with the QML, compared to the workflow of alternative layout technology – or even traditional layout methods which are not only more laborious, but more of an art than a science.
You can do virtually everything related to construction layout on a QML system. It’s not overly complex and it takes a lot of the human error out of it that you’d experience with alternative layout methods. You’re basically doing all the layout and data collection necessary on your tablet, while the marking laser setups remain stationary. The lasers are already plumbed up and doing the work for you, so there is minimal human error. It’s so intuitive that it’s hard to really mess up.
Things people assume about the QML800 that actually aren’t true
People think it’s expensive when it isn’t. The QML is a fraction of the price of other digital layout solutions and includes all of the layout applications that all major construction trades can benefit from.
People also don’t realize how fast you can get started. We did a test run with the QML with everything in its packaging and it took less than 5 minutes to get set up and running. We were dialed in and already laying out.
The QML is beginner-friendly, very easy use, and it’s one of the best layout systems we’ve seen for the interior construction trades. We hope you’ll take a look at it, and if you think it might apply to your workflow give us a call at 800-243-1414 or send an e-mail to email@example.com to schedule an onsite demo.